Roughly 100 people were gathered outside Ridgecrest Baptist Church before the funeral of Hailey Owens, the 10-year-old Springfield girl who was abducted and slain last week.
They were waving American flags and one woman was holding a sign that read "One more angel in heaven." Two other signs read "Fly high beautiful butterfly" and "Rest easy sweet angel."
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The group created a human wall blocking the view of the church's entrance. About 20 motorcycles were also parked in front of the church.
Many in the group wore pink and purple, Hailey's favorite colors, according to her family.
Several motorists have honked as they drove past the church.
At about the time the funeral was to start, 2 p.m., many in the group began chanting "Hailey, Hailey."
The News-Leader respected the wishes of Hailey's relatives to not attend the funeral.
An online funeral guest book, in which people can leave notes for Hailey's family on the News-Leader's website, included almost 600 messages by Wednesday afternoon.
A few of those read:
"Rest in Paradise little girl! You have left a lasting impression on many. Our thoughts and prayers and love are with you and your family."
"Our prayers are with you! We are so sorry for the loss of your precious little angel. There are just no words for this!"
"You'll never know how many people you have brought together, with compassion and love. You'll always be remembered."
"As you grieve know that so many are remembering your family, and honoring the memory of sweet Hailey. We will never forget her. Sending thoughts of comfort, and praying the love of God enfolds you."